Southampton new signings: Confirmed ins and outs for summer 2023

It’s been a summer of change at St Mary’s as Southampton spent the break gearing up for life in the Championship following relegation from the Premier League. It’s the first second-tier season for the Saints since 2011/12 when they won promotion under Nigel Adkins and getting the right deals done will prove to be key.

Russell Martin was recruited as the man in charge of their bid for an immediate return to the top flight. A reasonably strong start for the south coast side see’s them placed in 5th after three games, in which they have won two in late fashion, as well as being part of a dramatic 4-4 draw against Norwich City. 

The former Swansea boss will be working with a squad very different to the one that Ruben Selles coached in the latter stages of the Premier League season, with both arrivals and departures shaping the side for their battle ahead. 

Much of Southampton’s success will depend on how the club can adapt to such changes, with two recent departures of key players being a blow for the Saints. 

Below are the confirmed Southampton ins and outs so far: 

Southampton new signings: Summer 2023 arrivals

Shea Charles (Manchester City)

Shea Charles
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Southampton made an early statement of intent this transfer window by signing Shea Charles from Manchester City for an initial £10.5m fee which could rise to £15m with add-ons. That’s a significant sum for a second tier club to spend on a player but Southampton clearly believe that Charles is a major prospect who could shine on the Championship stage.

The 19 year old midfielder has been a key player and captain for Manchester City’s U21 side but has had limited first team football with just 27 minutes of Premier League action under his belt. That hasn’t stopped Charles from quickly gaining international recognition with Northern Ireland though.

His versatility will be an asset for Martin with the teenager capable of operating as a defensive midfielder or in defence. The youngster made his first start in red and white against Plymouth Argyle in match week three, playing a full 90 minutes in defensive midfield.

Ryan Manning (Swansea)

Another new arrival at St Mary’s is Ryan Manning who follows boss Russell Martin in joining from Swansea City. The Republic of Ireland international arrives on a free transfer following the expiry of his contract in South Wales and typically operates as an attack-minded left back or left wing-back.

He’s an experienced Championship campaigner having also featured for QPR in England’s second tier between 2015 and 2020 after moving to England from his native Galway in Ireland. Manning is fresh from arguably the best season of his career with 5 goals and 10 assists last term for the Swans. Only three Championship players created more goals during the 2022/23 campaign.

Ross Stewart (Sunderland)

Ross Stewart Transfer
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After his sensational 2021/22 League One season with Sunderland, during which he scored 26 goals and provided teammates with three assists in 49 matches, Ross Stewart had a decent Championship season as well. The 2022/23 campaign wasn’t as generous to him as he got injured, which caused him to miss plenty of games, but he still managed to score 10 goals in 13 Championship matches for the Black Cats.

Such sort of consistency never escapes coach Russell Martin’s eye as the Scottish manager is always on the prowl for good deals on the transfer market. After Southampton got relegated and the team said goodbye to key figures such as James Ward-Prowse, Tino Livramento, Romelo Lavia, and Nathan Tella, the Saints were desperate to find a new difference-maker.

Paying Sunderland €9.30m for Ross Stewart was an easy decision to make, considering the experience and quality that the Scotland international brings to the table. Ross agreed on a three-year deal at St Mary’s Stadium, during which he will have the time and opportunity to bring the club back to the top of English football.

Taylor Harwood-Bellis (Manchester City)

Taylor Harwood-Bellis is the latest Manchester City starlet to leave the club due to a lack of opportunities for the A-team under coach Guardiola’s rule. The Spanish manager was more than happy to send him on a season-long loan at Southampton. The 21-year-old center-back will have enough chances to get regular first-team football and get some experience before returning to Etihad next year.

Mason Holgate (Everton)

Ever since the 2016/17 season, Mason Holgate has been playing for Everton. The Toffees’ player was featured in only eight games in the 2022/23 campaign, and it’s no wonder why Sean Dyche opted to send him to the Championship as well. The 26-year-old defender will likely be a firm starter for Southampton during his one-year loan. Southampton will also have to cover his wage for the duration of the loan.

Flynn Downes (West Ham United – Loan)

In addition to Charles, fellow midfielder Flynn Downes has made the move from the Premier League, signing on a season-long loan from West Ham United. The 24-year-old made 35 appearances for the Irons after making the switch from Swansea City in 2022, and will now be reunited with Martin on the south coast. 

The Europa Conference League winner will bring with him a good level of experience in the Premier League, in a player with a combative nature and a rounded ability in the engine room. During his time with the Swans, Martin lauded his midfielder was “incredible” and a player that does the “dirty work perfectly well”. 

Joe Lumley (Free agent)

With Willy Caballero retiring, Saints have hired former Middlesbrough goalkeeper Joe Lumley on a year-long contract. The 28-year-old became a free-agent in the summer following the expiration of his contract with Boro, adding a host of Championship experience to the squad. Having made 152 appearances in the second-flight representing QPR, Reading and Boro, Lumley will be a reliable source for Martin to call upon when needed in what is a long season ahead. 

Southampton’s transfer departures

James Ward-Prowse (West Ham)

After months of speculation regarding his future, captain James Ward-Prowse bid farewell to St Mary’s after joining the club at just 8-years-old, with his former side receiving £30m from West Ham for his services. 

It’s certain that Saints will miss their captain, who made 410 appearances for the club as well as being the side’s anchor last campaign by scoring 11 goals in what was an otherwise torturous season. 

The 28-year-old joined the Hammers on a four-year deal, sanctioning his return to the top-flight after suffering relegation with Southampton in May. 

Romeo Lavia (Chelsea)

Another player that has left the club after a long period of speculation is Romeo Lavia, who signed for Chelsea in a deal worth a whopping £58m on an equally as monstrous seven-year contract. 

The 19-year-old was only captured last summer from Manchester City’s academy, however numerous standout performances in defensive midfield made him capture the eye of many in the top-flight. 

Considering the club’s ability to replenish the area, receiving a bumper fee will be somewhat celebrated by the club, who can now draw a line under worries regarding his future. 

Mislav Orsic (Trabzonspor)

Southampton signed Mislav Orsic from Dinamo Zagreb in January in a late bid to add some much-needed firepower to their relegation fight. The Croatian international featured for the Saints in the cups but would only clock up 6 minutes of Premier League action with his time on the South Coast anything but a success. He leaves for a fee of around £2m to play in Turkey with Trabzonspor.

Mohamed Elyounoussi (FC Copenhagen)

Norway winger Mohamed Elyounoussi was a much more regular presence in the Southampton side last season. He made 27 Premier League starts but won’t be dropping down into the Championship after joining FC Copenhagen on a free transfer. The 28-year-old was more effective during the previous season at St Mary’s but like many Southampton players, his contribution was limited last term.

Ibrahima Diallo (Al-Duhail SC)

Defensive midfielder Ibrahima Diallo is another who has left the club this summer. He was largely a squad player during his three years at Southampton, with the likes of Lavia usually preferred in the holding role. Diallo’s next destination is Qatar with the 24-year-old set to turn out for Al-Duhail SC in the Stars League.

Theo Walcott (Released)

Theo Walcott
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It’s also the end of the road for Theo Walcott’s Southampton career after he was released by the club. Walcott burst on to the scene as a very exciting teenager for the Saints way back in the 2005/05 Championship season, making such an impact that he earned not only a move to Arsenal but a place in England’s 2006 World Cup squad.

His return to St Mary’s was far from a happy homecoming though with his second spell at the club ending in the disappointment of relegation with Walcott’s contribution limited. The 34 year old is now a free agent and is looking for a new club.

Willy Caballero (Retired)

Another player leaving St Mary’s is veteran goalkeeper Willy Caballero. The 41-year-old didn’t feature for Southampton last season and is retiring from football after a long career which saw him play for several clubs in Spain and England. He has already made the move into coaching and will come up against Southampton this season in his new role as Leicester City assistant manager.

Tino Livramento (Newcastle)

Tino Livramento Transfer
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Up-and-coming right-back Tino Livramento was one of the few good things we saw from Southampton recently. During his debut 2021/22 Premier League campaign, Tino played a total of 28 games for the Saints. He even managed to score a goal during that time. However, Saints got relegated last season, and there was no way a player of Livramento’s promise would stay in the Championship. Southampton had to sell and the offer they chose came from the Premier League.

Magpies were the ones who scooped Tino Livramento on a five-year deal. In exchange for their starlet, Saints received a massive £32m pay from Newcastle. Coach Eddie Howe is undoubtedly pleased to have such a talented defender at his disposal.

Nathan Tella (Bayer Leverkusen)

Nathan Tella, 24, was one of Burnley’s key players during the 2022/23 Premier League season. Saints deemed him unworthy and decided to send him on a season-long loan in the Championship. Tella used the time he had well, as he made a total of 39 appearances for coach Vincent Kompany’s side, scoring on 17 occasions and supplying colleagues with five assists.

He could’ve helped Saints avoid relegation but it seems that Southampton’s men in charge didn’t learn their lesson as they decided to sell their player to Bundesliga’s Bayer Leverkusen. The German side had to pay £23.30m for Tella but at least Bayer will now count on his talent for the next four years.

Mohammed Salisu (Monaco)

With 22 games for Southampton last season, Mohammed Salisu couldn’t help the team survive the hell that the Premier League was. That’s why the two sides parted ways earlier last month. Mohammed Salisu switched Southampton for Monaco, as Los Rouge et Blanc sent Saints a can’t-resist £15m deal for the 24-year-old defender’s services.

Moussa Djenepo (Standard Liege)

25-year-old Moussa Djenepo is another player leaving the sinking ship that is Southampton. The Saints got a basic £2.7m pay for Moussa Djenepo, who will be playing for Standard Liege throughout the next four years. Similar to Salisu, Moussa didn’t get too many chances to prove his worth last season, as he was only featured in 16 Premier League games for Southampton.